Q: What kind of pain management policies do you follow?
A: We believe that controlling patients’ pain is very important. For that reason we will administer medication before, during and/or after your pet’s surgical procedure to control pain, reduce discomfort and promote recovery. For more detailed information please also see our Anesthetic Procedures page.
Q: What is Companion Laser Therapy?
A: It is a form of pain management that gives off a laser beam that is directed at the problem site. This beam of light stimulates the tissue and skin cells to grow healthy tissue.
There’s no anesthesia needed as this is a painless procedure, the pet just lays back and we apply the treatment using a wand. This treatment is proving especially helpful in animals that have joint and soft tissue problems. It can dramatically shorten the amount of healing time after a surgery or procedure. The treatment may reduce or eliminate the need for injections or oral medications.
Laser therapy has had FDA clearance for over 6 years and is used in both human and animal health treatments. Additional information and videos can also be found here.
Q: What are your recommendations for vaccinations for dogs and cats?
A: Vaccines have become a real topic of discussion in recent years, vaccine guidelines and recommendations are still being closely examined.
There are certain vaccines called “core vaccines” that are recommended for all dogs and cats, these are the distemper combination and rabies vaccines.
Other vaccines considered “non-core” vaccines are available and are recommended or not based upon your pet’s lifestyle and risk factors.
The doctor will be happy to discuss all of this with you at your pet’s appointment, we can then tailor a vaccine program based upon your pet’s specific needs.
Q: How frequently do you recommend checking stool samples on dogs and cats and why is this important?
A: Intestinal parasites can cause serious medical problems in puppies, kittens, dogs and cats. Puppies and kittens very commonly are infected with intestinal parasites at birth or shortly afterward. Certain intestinal parasites of dogs and cats can be transmitted to people.
For these reasons we recommend fecal examinations on all new puppies and kittens at their first physical exam and then at least annually thereafter. Pets at higher risk for parasite exposure may need to be checked more frequently, we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail at your pet’s appointment.
Q: I’ve heard about heartworm disease. What is it and how is it prevented?
A: Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and results in long spaghetti-like worms living in the heart and pulmonary arteries. A mosquito bites an infected dog and ingests a blood meal that contains microscopic, immature heartworm larvae. When that mosquito bites another dog it can inject heartworm larvae into that dog and transmit the disease.
In accordance with the AHS, we recommend annual heartworm tests for all of our canine patients. It is a simple blood test that is run in our office – the results take only minutes.
Heartworm disease is easy and inexpensive to prevent, it can be expensive and difficult to treat. Serious, potentially fatal post-treatment complications may occur. Even after successful treatment, permanent heart and lung damage may persist.
We also recommend year round heartworm prevention for all dogs. Please feel free to ask us for more information at your pet’s appointment.